Wood Carved Icthys AND a DaySpring giveaway


My first memory of seeing an icthys is from my childhood.  Friends of my parents had an icthys with the name “Jesus” inside, but you had to stare at it for a long time before you could see it {almost like a hidden picture book}.  I was fascinated with it.  Every time we would go to visit I would inevitably be found staring at that icthys.  I also grew up with parents who placed icthys metal stickers on the back of their cars {I have followed suit ~ it’s like a family tradition now, right?}.  I even dated a guy who got an icthys tattoo on his shoulder.  Needless to say, I have been surrounded by this symbol all of my life.  I was taught that the icthys represented Christ, life, and that what seems impossible is possible with God.  Now I have this lovely wood carved wall hanging for my own home.

I received this beautiful wall-hanging from DaySpring.  It was actually bigger than I expected it to be {thought it would be a bit bigger than my hand; ended up being the size of a tray}. But I think it’s beautiful!  If you click on the link to shop over at DaySpring, you will find LOTS of gorgeous home decor that reflect your faith and God’s love.  So be sure to check it out!

I also want to thank the people over at DaySpring because they have given me the opportunity to offer my readers a $20 coupon code to spend over at DaySpring!  Yea!  You have several chances to enter to win.  You can choose to enter once or a number of times based on the criteria listed below. Here’s the details on how to enter to win the $20 coupon giveaway:

~ Leave a comment regarding the icthys symbol: a memory, what it means to you when you see it, etc.

~ Subscribe to my blog {if you’re a new subscriber, leave a comment and let me know: if you’re an existing subscriber, leave a comment and let me know that, too}

~ Go over to DaySpring and comment about something you like over there that you’d use your $20 coupon code on {if you won}

There ya’ go!  Three different ways to enter yourself in the giveaway.  You can choose to do one or all three!  🙂

Comments will be open thru Thursday night {June 2} so you have time ~ tell your friends! 🙂

*** I received the wood carved icthys wall hanging for free from DaySpring.  All opinions within this post are my own and do not reflect the opinions of DaySpring***

 

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Meditation: 05/29/2011

(words by Terry W. York)

 

Worthy of worship, worthy of praise, worthy of honor and glory;

Worthy of all the glad songs we can sing, worthy of all of the off’rings we bring.

You are worthy, Father, Creator.

You are worthy, Savior, Sustainer.

You are worthy, worthy and wonderful; Worthy of worship and praise.

Worthy of rev’rence, worthy of fear, worthy of love and devotion;

Worthy of bowing and bending of knees, worthy of all this and added to these…

You are worthy, Father, Creator.

You are worthy, Savior, Sustainer.

You are worthy, worthy and wonderful; Worthy of worship and praise.

Almighty Father, Master and Lord, King of all king and Redeemer,

Wonderful Counselor, Comforter, Friend, Savior and Source of our life without end.

You are worthy, Father, Creator.

You are worthy, Savior, Sustainer.

You are worthy, worthy and wonderful; Worthy of worship and praise.

Favorite Things Friday: The Best Friend

I have to say that I have been blessed with so many friends over the years.  God has really poured out a bounty of love, encouragement, and truth over my life through some really fab people.  I say this because it’s true, but also because I don’t want anyone to feel left out because this post is about one particular person.  Sometimes using the word “best friend” makes me feel like I’m excluding other people from some inner circle. I have more than one “best friend”, but some friendships are kind of loose around the edges and others cinch in tighter ~ every one is special in their own way ~ people I would not want to do life without.

With that said, I do have one terrifically special and amazing gal-pal.  She is truly a gift from God.  Seriously.  I’m pretty sure that when we met in college that she had a big red bow tied around her (a la present or…car) that I just could not see with my human eyes.

Actually, when we first met I didn’t like her at all.  And she wasn’t that crazy about me either.  There were no cat fights involved; just a general dislike with each party.  Yeah, that didn’t last very long.

I was singing for an accompanying class.  She was in the class and inevitably I would get paired with her so she could practice with my voice and my music.  I think at that point we pretty much fell head-over-heels in friendship with each other.

Do you want to know our defining friendship moment?  The beginning? The point at which it all began?

It was a shirt.

A green faux-suede shirt I had (it was 2000…do not judge me).  I wore it to that accompanying class one day and she said, “Ooooh”.  Then she proceeded to reach over and “pet” the sleeve of my shirt to get the full effect of the faux suede-i-ness.  We have been besties ever since.  (I realize, for some, that may sound like THE most awkward thing, but it wasn’t and it’s hilarious for us to talk about to this day.  I do want to say that I looked at her strangely, but we frequently look at each other like we are both weirdos so it’s all good.)

She may kill me for telling that story.

Anyway… 🙂

Here we are on our way to a wedding in Southern Illinois in the summer of 2001:

How ADORBS are we?!?! (She will hate that I used that word.) 🙂

This one person knows me like she knows herself.

We share the same white-girl complexion so we can share makeup tips and color palettes.

She is always honest with me.

We have laughed A LOT!

We have cried together many times.

She is a constant encouragement to me as I seek God’s will for my life and continue to grow in Him.

She is like my sister.

It hurts to be so far away from her.

She amazes me with her talents and abilities (If I did what she does on a weekly basis I just might die).

Despite the face that she is a wife and momma, she always has time for me (blows my mind).

I could probably go on and on, but it would just be more of the same.  She is a great friend.  More than I could have asked for in a best friend.  She accepts and loves me just as I am.  And I am ever so grateful for that.

Cheers, Jennie!  You are my best friend and I love you very much.

Five-Minute Friday: On Forgetting…

I fear forgetting.

I mentioned this last week.  That I am afraid I will forget.

I have always been one of those people that remembers things that no one else remembers.

For instance…

~ the color of the shirt you were wearing when we met.

~ the song that was playing when I slow-danced for the last time with him.

~ the smell of Germany.

~ what I was wearing the night I gave my heart to Jesus.

I remember names and faces and events.  They are fresh in my mind like yesterday.  Perhaps even clearer than yesterday.

And I don’t want to forget what I’ve come from.  How far I’ve come with the help of the hand of my Master and Friend.

The Lover of my soul.

I do not want to forget all that we have been through together.

All of the mess I created.

All of the beauty He made of the mess.

I dare not forget the change He has made in my life.

I fear forgetting.

I want to remember every smile, every touch, every smell…I want to breathe this life in and hold it….hold it…ahh.

Do I Have Your Attention?

I cannot help but wonder if God is trying to get our attention.

I can think of little things throughout the day that bring God to mind.  It is then that I turn my attention and focus to Him.  But what about the natural disasters of 2011?  It’s been one thing after another, has it not?  Volcanoes, blizzards, deadly tornadoes, tsunami, earthquakes.  It’s like God is asking, “Do I have your attention?”

Now, before you run off thinking I’m about to pull a Harold Camping on you…

I’m not suggesting the end of the world tomorrow (although, for selfish reasons, I’d be okay with that).

What I am suggesting is that all of these devastating events should get us thinking about how we are choosing to live our lives.  It makes me think of the people who did not survive and wonder if they knew Jesus as their Savior.  It should chill us to the bone to think of people just being torn away from this earth without Jesus.

Has God gotten our attention yet?  What are we doing, as believers, to spread the Gospel?  Are we busy living for ourselves instead of dying to self and serving the people around us?

What does the outbreak of natural disasters make you think about?  Would love your feedback!

Meditation: 05/22/2011

Words by Reginald Heber

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!

Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;

Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!

God in three Persons, Blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! all the saints adore Thee,

Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;

Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,

Who wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! tho’ the darkness hide Thee,

Tho’ the eye of sinful man They glory may not see;

Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,

Perfect in pow’r, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!

All Thy works shall praise Thy name, in earth, and sky, and sea;

Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty!

God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Five-Minute Friday: When Seasons Change…

When seasons change…

I want to take a photograph of each change and phase.

I want to be able to remember.

I fear forgetting…

the leaves.

the branches.

the birds.

the thunder.

the snow.

I fear forgetting my journey as the seasons change.

I want to remember where I’ve been.

I want to look back and see how far God has brought me,

From one season to another.

Change is scary and it is sweet.  I want to remember it all.

ALL.

The scary AND the sweet.

I want to remember how God walked with me through the scary seasons.

I want to remember how He filled me with exuberance and love and joy during the sweet times.

I fear forgetting.

But I embrace remembrance.

Remembering that my God loves.

Remembering that I am never alone.

Remembering that I am accepted.

Remembering the journey and the adventure…the scary and the sweet.

When seasons change, a bit of me changes.

I grow.  I am filled.  I move.

Closer and closer to the woman God wants me to be.

Closer and closer to God.

Favorite Things Friday: The Message//Remix:Pause

I’m moving “My Favorite Things” to Friday because…well…I like the alliteration.  🙂

This week’s favorite thing is The Message//Remix: Pause Bible.

I was blessed to be given this Bible for FREE. (win!)

The Message//Remix:Pause is a daily reading Bible. I set a goal for myself to read through the Bible in 2011. I started out okay, but quickly fell off the daily Bible-reading wagon. This daily reader entered my life and has made all the difference!
There is an Old Testament and New Testament reading for each day. There are also brief questions asked at the end of each reading to take you deeper into what you’ve read. I think this is great because it helps it not just be another thing that I do during the day that gets mentally checked off of a list.
Plus, this is The Message version so it’s super easy to read and understand. 🙂

Check it out on amazon.com ~ they even have it so that you can sneak a peek inside.

Happy Friday!

Thought

Where I’d like to be right now…Bath, England.

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Where would you like to be right now?

In My Face

I’m a very visual person.  There are many times in my mind’s eye (or my heart’s eye) that God uses visuals to speak to me and get things across to my stubborn self.  One of my phrases I’ve used over the years is ~ “God popped me on the forehead with that!”  Well, he didn’t really pop me on the forehead, but has he ever spoken SO loud and clear through Scripture, music, art, etc. that it felt like he had popped you on the forehead to get your attention?  ME TOO! There have also been moments when I have been aching with pain and needed to feel God’s presence near to me.  It has been those times when I have seen Jesus sitting next to me, arm around my shoulder, hand on my hand.

I just began a required evangelism course for my master’s degree and was already apprehensive about how God would speak to my heart about how I’ve seriously dropped the ball in sharing my faith.  The resources chosen for this class are pretty cool.  They are very read-able and approach evangelism in a way that makes you want to run out your front door and start building relationships with people so you can begin to share the Gospel with them (seriously).

God gave me a new visual as I embarked on this course.

He got all up in my face.

Not in a mean way, but in a “this is serious…are you listening?…do you get this?” kind of in my face.  It is a caring way of getting in my face ~ not just care for me, but care and love for those I come into contact with day in and day out.  I should be caring about others in that way.  It’s a serious job and responsibility of every believer.  Are we really reaching out to people and sharing the Gospel or are we choosing to live in isolation within our community of believers?  It can be so much easier to just run in church circles.  That community is important; discipleship is important; corporate worship and prayer is important.

How often do we forget that Jesus commanded us to GO?

Sometimes that looks like traveling somewhere else to share the Gospel.

Sometimes that looks like going to the grocery store.

Man, God is all up in my face right now.

I’m so thankful that God loves me and humanity so much that he gets in my face.

This is a journey and I am not always going to get it right.  But evangelism isn’t a special calling.  It’s a command given by our leader and we dare not shirk it off like it doesn’t apply to us.

~ Some great resources to read and study through as you carry out Christ’s call:

Evangelism Is – A great book that speaks clearly concerning the Great Commission (it’s also on Kindle, which I just think is cool beans).

Share Jesus Without Fear – This is a fairly popular resource and after reading it I can see why.  LifeWay also has a video-driven course that corresponds with the tenets of this book…worth checking out.

Minister to Others – A helpful Bible study resource that takes you on a daily journey towards sharing your faith with others.

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